I consider myself a battle hardened concert veteran. I lost count of how many I have seen, I know I have photographed close to one thousand since we started this blog. But nothing, not the guy who took a chainsaw to a pig’s head, not Rammstein, not a goat’s head set on fire by a Swedish Death Metal Band prepared me for last night.
In the relatively short time since their first performance Heilung has gained a reputation as a band not to miss if they are touring near you. It’s not a concert, it’s a ceremony, a ritual that pulls fans back a few hundred years into a time when man’s connection to nature and its spirits was simpler. The ceremony started with a blessing of the stage and a chant that was repeated back by the audience.
Heilung calls their music “amplified history from early medieval northern Europe”. Its roots are in Germanic and Viking lore and history. From the first beats something pulls you to the stage, you fight the urge to join their tribe, grab a shield and spear and join the shield wall. Then Heilung releases you into a trance with angelic voices and chants. The amount of activity on stage is mind boggling at times. Warriors with shields and spears, dancers and band members move in a whirlwind. The final “Hamrer Hippyer” whipped the crowd into a frenzy. A perfect 10 minute storm of chants and drums. I was surprised fans did not burst out the doors of the Myth to loot and pillage unsuspecting Maplewood.
Set List: Opening Ceremony \ In Maidjan \ Alfadhirhaiti \ Krigsgaldr \ Hakkerskaldyr \ Svanrand \ Norupo \ Othan \ Traust \ Anoana \ Elddansurin \ Hamrer Hippyer \ Closing Ceremony